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Ultra-Fast Broadband Initiative Roll Out


Client: Chorus / Crown Fibre Holdings

The roll-out of the Ultra-Fast Broadband Initiative is a nationwide project that TruLine has been contributing to in several main South Island centres; Blenheim, Dunedin, Oamaru, Nelson, Greymouth and Christchurch. TruLine has been involved in UFB deployment continuously since since mid 2011.


The UFB initiative is an exciting programme of building a fibre-to-home network by means of a public–private partnership as part of the National government's promise to bring high-speed broadband to 75% of New Zealanders by 2019. 

The public-private partnerships between Chorus and three local fibre companies plans to roll out fibre-to-the-home connection in all main towns and cities with a population of over 10,000. The programme aims to deliver ultra-fast broadband capable of at least 100 Mbps upload and 50Mbps download to 75% of New Zealanders by 2019. In total, 1,340,000 households in 26 towns and cities will be connected


The Ultra-Fast Broadband project aims to connect optical fibre to all schools and public hospitals, most private health facilities and most businesses by 2015. Urban and suburban residential areas around the country will have fibre connected gradually, with new development areas being a high priority.

According to Ministry of Economic Development progress report, as of December 2013, the UFB project is 27% complete, with fibre available to 363,109 users, of which 19,915 has been connected.

UFB Technology

The UFB project plans to provide speeds of at least 100Mbit down and 50Mbit up. The technology used will be GPON (Gigabit-capable Passive Optical Networks) for residential and point-to-point for large businesses. Dark fibre would also be available for special use.

Network Reticulation Design

Lateral duct jointing to end-userReticulation design has been developed using Tight Protected Multi-duct Cable suitable for direct-buried installation for the up-stream feeder and distribution network. To prevent water entry when underground two layers of sturdy HDPE sheath and a moisture barrier of aluminium are wrapped around the microducts inside the cable. This cable appears to be traditional telecom UCT cable but it in fact contains multiple tubular microducts with up to a 26-way capacity for optical fibres. The micro-ducts have a solid, low-friction inner surface coating for best installation performance using the cable-jetting technique. The reason for this is that every property has its own individual fibre-optic cable installed or jetted from a distribution cabinet right to the boundary and then into every house or business. At the end user level, Protected single-duct cable "laterals" suitable for direct-burial are split away from the Multi-duct upstream Cable and spliced or jointed then delivered just inside the end-user's property boundary. Every end-user's connection is proof-tested and thereby delivered free of distortion or obstruction by TruLine at the time of installation.  

Trenching Methodology

This work is quite demanding as it requires a range of disciplines. While directional drilling is the methodology of preference, in addition there's trenching via excavator, and some rock-sawing is required too. A critical component is hydro-vac excavation because it ensures that existing underground infrastructure remains intact. This usually involves using a water-blaster or occasionally a compressed air lance to dissolve the soil into a slurry of debris that can be sucked away using powerful suction from a wide vacuum pump. This leaves a nice neat trench with existing pipes and cables undamaged. It is used to both locate existing services and trench past leaving them intact. Vacuum excavation is considered the best practice for safely finding and seeing underground utilities, reducing by more than half the chance of damaging buried utilities.

Air-blown Fibre, Duct Network Reticulation System, Jointing Laterals

Fibre Access Terminal duct testing.TruLine has been installing Ericsson's "Ribbonet® Air-Blown Fiber" (ABF) System which has been developed specifically to provide fast, efficient and flexible fibre distribution in the UFB drop network.


The ABF system is optimal for medium to long-distance networks as substantial cost savings are achieved by reducing the number of splice points and by the ability to install fibre to the home incrementally as required. Cable-jetting delivery technology also enables future expansion of the network without costly additional civil works.  

The Ribbonet® system consisting of "micro-ducts" which form the fine-grained infrastructure or vascular system into which the individual optical-fiber units are blown to end users' premises. It can be used outdoors, indoors and underground, as well as in aerial applications. The Ribbonet® system consists of Air-blown Fibre, ducts, duct joints and accessories.

Fibre management componentry and the Drop Network

Optical fibre distribution hardware are integrated components of any fibre distribution and management system. TruLine Civil is delivering the complete package to our client.The Drop Network connects end users to splicing and branching points, or Fibre Access Terminals (FATs) where the ducts or cables are connected to the upstream feeder and distribution network. The Air Blown Fibre (ABF) is the system used in New Zealand to connect fibres from end users to the FAT.

TruLine Civil is installing all the Fibre Management and the Drop Network componentry of the UFB system including high-capacity Fibre Management cabinets, and Micro Cabinets, Fibre Access Terminals (FATs), Fibre Jointing and Distribution Cabinets, manholes, pits, pedestals. TruLine is delivering the Drop Network with every duct proof tested and labelled ready for Chorus to cable-jet fibres and thereby make the fibre network available to end users.

Traffic Management

Because the UFB network is being distributed in highly urbanised areas considerable attention is paid to traffic management, pedestrian safety, barricade guards, gating and isolation of the works where possible. Plus most importantly full reinstatement of the site at the end of the works to an as-good-or-better standard than prior to the works commencing.

Contact us

TruLine Civil is determined to incrementally improve the service we deliver our clients, and the quality and range of civil engineering services that we offer to owners and stakeholders who expect excellence.

Excellence in Infrastructure.

TruLine Civil.

Interested in our services? You can contact us +64 (21) 228-5090 and ask for Geoff Powell or e-mail me at 

Nelson Ultra Fast Broadband Installation Slideshow

>> Click to view the Nelson UFB slideshow >> 

Slideshow controls: [1] Double-click to "pause" any slide, [2] Double click to "play"/continue the show. [3] Jump to any slide in the show by clicking on the relevant thumbnail. [4] To escape at any time click "x" top right.

Credits: Photos,and case study documentation by Shaun G. Waugh 
Video by Shaun G. Waugh and Thomas Rands. 

Click thumbnail for larger image

Ultra-Fast Broadband Initiative Roll Out Project Management Project Management
Concrete cutting Hydrovac trenching method Hydrovac trenching method

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